The Kerala Assembly on Monday passed a unanimous resolution against the Centre’s decision to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani Enterprises, PTI reported.
The resolution was moved by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who alleged that the Centre had ignored the Kerala government’s repeated protests against its decision to hand over the airport to a private entity. “For the last two years the state has been opposing the move,” Vijayan said, according to the Hindustan Times. “I have written twice to Prime Minister Modi. Still it was handed over to a private entity ignoring the state’s protest. The Kerala Assembly unanimously urges the Centre to reconsider its decision.”
The Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala supported the resolution moved by Vijayan but alleged that the state government was secretly helping Adani Enterprises. “A conspiracy has been held to help the Adani group,” Chennithala said, according to PTI. “Keeping in mind the state’s interests, the Opposition is supporting the motion and we agree with the spirit of the resolution.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, alleged that O Rajagopal, its representative in the Assembly, was not even allowed to speak. Kerala BJP President K Surendran said that his party was on the people’s side.
BJP workers staged a protest against the Kerala government outside the Assembly premises and had to be removed by the police.
Last week, the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to lease out the Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram airports through a public-private partnership model. Currently, these airports are managed by the Airports Authority of India. The Centre had decided to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram airport to the Adani Group for 50 years.
On Thursday, Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the move was against an assurance given to him personally. The Opposition Congress had also criticised the Centre’s move to lease out the airport to the Adani group. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, meanwhile, said that the Kerala government did not qualify in the international bidding process for Thiruvananthapuram airport.